Living with fire

Living with fire

Living with Fire: People, nature and history in Steels Creek

by Christine Hansen and Tom Griffiths

CSIRO Publishing, $49.95 hb, 200 pp, 9780643104792

Fire, more than any other thing, challenges the divide between the cultural and the natural, between being human and the non-human world. We make a pact, if not with a devil, at least with terrible danger when we use fire; and it is a pact, despite how it might seem in our urban modernity, over which we have no choice. We need fire. It doesn’t need us. If it truly had character, as it so often seems to, it would be indifferent, callous, cruel. And it is this that cooks our food and warms our toes.

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Robert Kenny

Robert Kenny's latest book is Gardens of Fire: An investigative memoir (2013). His previous book, The Lamb Enters the Dreaming (2007), won the 2008 Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University, and has published in the fields of religious, environmental, and science history, as well as poetry, fiction, and cultural criticism.

Published in November 2013 no. 356

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